How to Get Still Stronger


  1. Play lots of games.

    This is the most important of all. You can learn lots from books and web sites, but you can only get strong if you play.

  2. Play as many different people as you can.

    Different people have different ideas.

  3. Solve lots of easy problems quickly.

    There's a great set of books called Graded Go Problems for Beginners by Kano Yoshinori, a Japanese 9-dan. You'll find volume 1 quite easy, but don't miss it out! You may want volume 2 fairly soon as well, but volumes 3 and 4 are quite difficult.

    Don't struggle with very difficult problems - it's no fun and it doesn't really help. If you get the easy things down pat, the next things begin to look easy too. And so on.

  4. Play rengo.

    Rengo is Japanese for team Go. The members of the team take turns to play the team's move. You learn new things because you have to make your partner's ideas work as well as your own. And it's great fun! You can allow discussion or forbid it. Both are good - it's up to you.

  5. Play zengo.

    In this game, an odd number of people play a game of Go. This means that each time it's your turn you'll be playing the opposite colour from last time! Because everyone is playing both colours, nobody minds who wins, so this would be a good time to try out a new idea you're not sure about.

  6. Play the invasion game with a friend.

    The invasion game is an excellent way to sharpen up your fighting skills. It's described at the bottom of this page (click the link to go there).

  7. How to find Go books.

    You don't really need many Go books at the moment except Kano's Graded Go Problems For Beginners that we mentioned before. But if you like reading books, a good web site of Go book reviews is David Carlton's Go bibliography.

    If you're a member of the British Go Association, you can buy books from us at a reduced rate (and the BGA bookseller can give you advice about which books would suit you, if you like). Otherwise, you can order them from a bookshop, games shop or

  8. How to find Go web sites.

    If you use an internet search engine like Google and search for "go", you'll get a list of zillions of pages that have the English word "go" in them! Try searching for "baduk" instead. That's the Korean name for Go.


The Invasion Game

Surround a square or a rectangle with white stones, like this, and then play Go on the inside. Black's aim is to make a living group in the middle of the rectangle, and White's aim is to stop him. Take turns to play Black and White.

Every time you're Black and you make a live group, make the rectangle either one line shorter or one line narrower, and every time you don't manage a live group, make it one line longer or wider.

You can also play this game on one side of a board or in a corner. The corner is especially good practice, because a lot of life-and-death fighting in real games happens in the corner.

A final word from Spike

Good luck! Enjoy your Go!

Ko fights table of contents

UK Go Challenge home 26 November 2003